Is It Better To Ride Bitch, or To Ride My Own? a woman motorcyclist’s dilemma

Diana Green, guest writer for Road Captain USA

As a motorcyclist and a newlywed I find myself torn between two loves.  I could hop on my bike (a cute little Sporty that is just my size) and zip around town.  It gives me a sense of power and personal satisfaction being able to control this machine.  Or I could hop on the back with my sexy bald guy, wrap my arms around him, and let him ride me off into the sunset.  There is a sense of closeness (and of course romanticism) that comes with two bodies leaning into turns together and operating as if one with the bike.  And so I am often left to wonder…is it better to ride bitch or to ride my own?  That is my question. 

Mr & Mrs Road Captain in Frederick, Maryland

Most women, I believe, start out riding as a passenger.  It is an amazing experience.  And if the person you are riding with is someone special, it can also be a bonding experience.  Riding a bike is scary yet exhilarating.  When you wrap your arms around that special guy, you are literally entrusting your life to his hands.  Of course the scenery is always so much more dramatic when you are on a bike, and it is quite romantic to share that with someone else.  Darlene (Middletown, DE) has been riding with her husband for many years.  “It is OUR Hobby that we do together,” she says, “I don’t just go for a ride with him on the back of his bike, I am in the ride as a participating co-pilot.”  Even though Darlene has her motorcycle license, she does not ride her own bike because “it would affect HIS ride, as he would now be concerned about me.”  Steve (Belton, KY) shares: “My wife…doesn’t care anything about having her own bike…She enjoys riding pillion so she can take in the view, and we just enjoy being close while on the ride.”   

Passengers can take great pictures!

Speaking of the view, another advantage of riding passenger is that it frees up your hands to be able to take some amazing photographs while you are riding.  (Please don’t try that while riding your own bike!)  On the down side when riding passenger, some of that gorgeous scenery is routinely blocked by your fabulous view of the back of his helmet!  Taking photos isn’t the only multi-tasking activity performed on the back of a bike.  Doug’s wife (Lewisville, NC) “reads a book when [they] are zinging down the road,” and TC (Hamburg, ON) explains that his wife “knits on the back while [they’re] travelling!” 

When I first started riding with my sweetie, I always found myself looking over his shoulder to see how he was working the controls with his hands…I just HAD to know how the machine worked!  I picked myself up a used bike on eBay, and took the Basic Rider course at the local community college.  Never did I imagine what that would do to me.  You just don’t get the full effect of riding when you are a passenger.  I can’t explain it, but that exhilaration is tenfold when you are at the controls…it is you against nature (and cagers…).  Even the idea can be quite daunting.  Laurel (Parkton, MD) told me once “You got guts, girl!  I’d be scared to death to ride my own.  I’ll stick with clinging on to my hubby, thank you!”

 The general public’s reaction always gave me a boost when I was feeling frustrated about my still developing riding skills.  Steve said, “I always encourage women that want to get into motorcycling, I think it’s good for the sport.”  My students routinely responded with an “alright!” and a high-five when they found out that their teacher was a “biker chick.”  My teenage son started saying “When I get a Harley…”  My sister was of course worried about my safety, but her husband was impressed with my riding. One of my brother’s friends was motivated to pursue his long-time dream of owning a bike.  All of the attention was great for my ego, but for me It was more of a sense of accomplishment. 

Growing up I was always “the smart kid.”  I always loved sports, but never participated in them.  After becoming a mother I started referring to myself as a “professional spectator.”  I never actually did anything.  Then I learned to ride a MOTORCYCLE! 


Wow…now that’s an achievement!  Operating such a powerful piece of machinery gives me a feeling of great strength.  I am in control of my Harley, and I am in control of my destiny. 

Beyond the “feeling of accomplishment because of being a female,” Dori (Middletown, DE) adds that she likes the independence.  She can get on her Low Rider whenever she wants.  When she was married, Dori’s husband supported and encouraged her to get her license.  Now she always rides her own bike. 

There are many things to enjoy about riding no matter how you do it.  Dori enjoys “the whole atmosphere—the music, the group of people, etc.”  Darlene adds that when riding a motorcycle, “you are not just looking at the picture, you are IN the picture.  You feel the temperature changes when you go through a wooded area or near water; you smell your surroundings including farms, pine trees, sea air, steak houses, etc; you hear what you see.”   

Alice cruising PA Rt 6 on her award winning yellow Dyna

After weighing the pros and cons, I find that I still don’t have much of an answer to my dilemma.  As a woman, I have two equally viable options–to ride pillion or to ride my own.  Doug says, “I like to see women riding their own bikes, and I also like to see couples out riding together.”  I think both options are great too, but being out there riding is what really matters.  So, I guess I really don’t have to decide…I can just enjoy the best of both worlds!

16 Responses to “Is It Better To Ride Bitch, or To Ride My Own? a woman motorcyclist’s dilemma”

  1. I like to ride both. I Just don’t have anyone to ride me:( Remember– For Better or Worse it works both ways with us riding girlzz 🙂 I think you are lucky. Sometimes it is nice to take a break and just ride and drink it all in… taking photos, relaxing, just plain not worrying and having someone else in control. Those moments are a great release. If you know your rider, relax and enjoy it. In your case… your hubby…hug and luv!

  2. You ladies have to check out these T-Shirts at CafePress

  3. KT,
    Yes I definitely consider myself lucky. Road Captain is the bestest hubby ever! Thanks for the comments. Hope you find someone great to ride with so you can enjoy having the option too 🙂

  4. I’m pretty sure that “you go girl!” is the right response here, Diana.

    As you and Jay know from reading my posts, I’m no stranger to ladies who ride, and I wish my wife did. The women I ride with are better riders than plenty of guys I have seen out there. Don’t think of it as a dilemma; think of it as the luxury of choice. You have the courage to trust your life to him when you ride bitch, and to trust yourself when you take the controls. Embrace it!

    RIde safe…

  5. Mostly I trust my life to Jay when I don’t trust my own skills for the riding that we will be doing…like when we go touring. But it is definitely a luxury to have the choice.

    I’ll be posting more articles soon. Check back often! 😉

  6. I would gladly let my lady ride with me on the back…if she could! It’s not a big deal to me, just as long as we can share the expreience together. Unfortunately though it won’t happen anytime soon. I would love to do it just to experience it from another side.

    You are so lucky to be able to make a choice.

  7. I am truly sorry if I touched a nerve for any of you out there that do not have a choice. Having someone special in your life is an unfortunately rare treat. Like many, I have spent most of my life either in a bad relationship or alone. I do count my blessings every day that I now have Jay in my life, and especially that we have something special (like riding) to share.

    To everyone out there, I sincerely wish you all of the happiness in the world. May you make the best of every day that God sends you. And may we all humbly remember that there are those less fortunate than ourselves.

  8. Di, this is a biker website. Save the mushy stuff for Valentines Day.

  9. Nice Post. I love having my girl on the back of my ride. It’s nice to share all interesting things I see and feel while riding with her. I guess it doesn’t matter either way because its a personal choice. As long as you both are having a great time, that is all that matters as far as I am concerned! All I know is that nothing gets my girl hot and bothered like a good ride together. YAH!!

  10. A romantic trip to a mountain top retreat like in the Viva Viagra commercial works wonders!

  11. So now we are back to discussing the Viagra commercial post?? 😐

  12. I love riding my own bike. I rode double with my hubby for a couple years, but those who know me knew I would be on my own one day. I went through a motorcycle safety training class, and I totally recommend it to anyone wanting to ride on their own. It gave me confidence to get out there, and you’re only going to gain experience the more you ride. My first bike was a Suzuki 800 Intruder and I put 5,000 miles on that sucker my first summer! Drove my hubby crazy! Let’s go! Let’s go! That’s all he heard out of me! You go for it, but do what you feel comfortable doing! Lady R

  13. Lady R,
    Thanks for the comment and the advice. I wholeheartedly agree…everyone learning should take a basic rider course. And after you’ve ridden a couple thousand miles, everyone should take the advanced rider course (especially if you never took the basic one)! You will surprise yourself at your abilities, and probably learn a thing or two along the way. A wonderful experience. (And it doesn’t hurt that some insurance companies give you a rate break for it too!)
    Also good advice…take baby steps. Don’t think that just because you have your license it makes you an expert rider. Know your limitations, build gradually, and never push past the edge of your comfort zone. 🙂

  14. YOU GO GiRL ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !


  15. Right on Pops! Hope we get down south to see you sometime soon! Please hop over to Daytona for us.

  16. Thanks Dad.
    So far we have found “no pot holes, lots of donut shops, and a maintenance free ride on the bikes of happiness.” (Happy 8-monthiversary to us!)

    We will get down to the sunshine state to visit — hopefully some time soon…LU 🙂

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